The Comedy of Errors

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To fill the hour—that is happiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare's early plays, written between 1592 and 1594. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical. A major part of the humor comes from slapstick, mistaken identity, puns and wordplay.

Act I

  • The pleasing punishment that women bear.
    • Ægeon, scene i

Act II

  • A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
    We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;
    But, were we burden'd with like weight of pain,
    As much or more we should ourselves complain.
    • Adriana, scene i

  • Every why hath a wherefore.
    • Dromio of Syracuse, scene ii


  • Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
    • Balthazar, scene i

Act V

  • A hungry lean-fac'd villain,
    A mere anatomy.
    • Antipholus of Ephesus, scene i

  • A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch,
    A living-dead man.
    • Antipholus of Ephesus, scene i

  • Let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.
    • Dromio of Ephesus, scene i

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